Talk about a sweet deal.
Chanute native Jerrod Smith had the opportunity last Sunday to promote Shotwell Candy Co. on the QVC network’s In the Kitchen with David.
“In the Kitchen with David is the pinnacle of QVC,” Smith said in a phone interview from Memphis.
He said 600,000 pieces of candy were sold through the show.
“That’s amazing for seven minutes of work,” Smith said.
Smith’s first appearance on the network was a year ago, but was a couple of years in the making.
He explained how the opportunity developed.
Corky’s Ribs and BBQ from the Memphis area is a player on QVC. An acquaintance of Smith’s from that business took some of the Shotwell caramels for gifts to the buyers.
The buyers loved the product and invited Smith to QVC.
“I just didn’t have the capacity or ability,” Smith said about the opportunity at that time.
He then spent a year and a half getting the capacity figured out. He knew he had to add space, equipment and employees.
Improvements included getting a stand-alone facility and hiring seven full-time workers.
Smith did three shows last year and a couple holiday shows this year prior to Sunday’s appearance on the network.
Smith has a day job as an in-house lawyer. He moved to Memphis to attend grad school in 2000 and has resided there since.
He said he loved the QVC experience.
“David (Venable) is a riot. He has a fantastic level of energy.”
Smith noted the TV host’s personality continues off camera.
“I was very nervous but got to meet David before going on the air,” he said. “He’s got a way about him and puts you at ease.”
The response to the sale of Holiday Mint, Original Salted, and Bourbon and Maple Pecan caramels was slightly overwhelming.
“We’re frantically getting ingredients and packaging lined up,” he said.
When the product on TV sold out, there was a drastic jump of visitors and orders through the website www.shotwellcandy.com
“The impact has been tremendous in a couple of aspects,” Smith said. “Direct sales through QVC have been amazing. In addition, the exposure has garnered a lot of attention from customers and potential wholesale partners.”
Jerrod is the son of Chanute residents Ben and Becky Smith.
“Shotwell Candy Co. was born out of the memory of my great-grandfather, L. Shotwell George, who was born in 1906,” Smith said. “Grandpa Shot, as we called him, owned and operated a general goods store in Aliceville for the bulk of his life (1922-1971).”